The sacred, uninhabited Greek island of Delos hosted a spectacular classical concert featuring Ukrainian, Russian, and Greek musicians on Monday.
This concert was the first of its kind since antiquity to take place on the island, which is full of ancient ruins and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) together with Ukrainian and Russian musicians and soloists, the Ukrainian rising star Diana Tishchenko (violin), and Greek virtuoso Sokratis Sinopoulos (lyra) performed Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.
In addition, they performed improvised episodes for Lyra, Carmen Fizzarotti’s “Floating Autumn” from The [uncertain] Four Seasons and Marshall Marcus’ “17 Strokes of the Bell for Peace and Sustainability.”
This program has been specially created to underscore the uncertainty about the future of the planet if we do not take urgent action.
The concert was live-streamed on ARTE, on the social-media platforms of Cultural and Technological institutions, and projected onto television screens in various cities around the world.
Delos’ concert the first time in thousands of years
There are extensive excavations on the island, revealing ruins that portray Delos as a holy sanctuary, dating back to a period even before Greek mythology designated it as the birthplace of the Greek gods Apollo and his twin sister, Artemis.
Amazingly, some ruins of ancient stone huts on Delos date back to the 3rd millennium BC.
From 900 BC to 100 AD, the island served as a cult center for the god Apollo. Eventually, it became a religious pilgrimage for the Ionians after undergoing a number of “purifications” at the command of the city-state of Athens around the 6th century BC.
Along with the ruins on Delos, the tales of this enchanting island are captivating. The island, referred to as “the sacred island of Delos,” is where, as Greek mythology has it, Leto gave birth to Zeus’ twins, Artemis and Apollo.
The story goes that because of Hera’s jealousy of Zeus and Leto, she ordered all lands to shun Leto, making it difficult for her to find a place to give birth.
However, Zeus asked Poseidon to find a secret, safe place for Leto to give birth. She ended up on the island of Delos, and since the island is not connected to the land, she was able to safely give birth to her twins, Artemis and Apollo.
From that moment onward, the small, rocky island was declared “the most sacred of all islands” by Callimachus in the third century BC in all of Ancient Greece and was devoted to Apollo. It was said to be “bathed in the unique light” of Zeus’ son.